ALLIANCE Rail Holdings has, despite the best efforts of many parties, dropped its plans to procure Class 390 ‘Pendolino’ trains for use on Blackpool to Euston services.
Although the Office of Rail and Road approved the proposal in 2015, Alliance and the ORR have agreed that the approval will lapse.
Instead of ‘Pendolinos’, Alliance is in discussions with Eversholt Rail to lease a number of
Class 91 and Mk4 carriage sets for the Blackpool service.
Alliance plans to run six trains daily calling at Poulton-le-Fylde, Kirkham & Wesham, Preston, Nuneaton and Milton Keynes, with seven carriages. This calling pattern has been changed to accommodate journey times of three hours, at a maximum speed of 110mph.
Alliance has made an application for services to begin in the first half of 2019 using
Class 91 sets released by Class 801 ‘Azuma’ trains being introduced on the East Coast Main Line. Back in 2013, Eversholt showcased a mock-up of a refurbished Mk4 which met with wide approval.
Looking at the Alliance bid to run Waterloo to Southampton services, the company says Network Rail has offered seven return paths, which could allow services to begin next year. Rolling stock would be the six Class 442 EMUs not earmarked by First/MTR for the new SWT franchise, which need a full internal refurbishment.
■ Class 91 locos with Mk4 sets have worked into London Euston before, the first time 24 years ago in 1993 as part of a public relations exercise ahead of a proposed order of such trains for the West Coast Main Line.
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